Supplies are limited to five masks per person
San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) is pleased to announce that free KN95 and surgical masks are now available to the public at SJBPH offices in Pagosa Springs and Durango. Masks are available at SJBPH front desks on a first come, first served basis until they run out. Five masks will be provided per person. The public is required to wear a mask to enter SJBPH offices and lobbies at this time. SJBPH’s Pagosa Springs office is located at 502 S. 8th Street in Pagosa Springs and is open Monday through Thursday 8am to noon and 1pm to 5pm. The SJBPH Durango office is located at 281 Sawyer Drive in Durango and is open Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm.
The free masks were provided to SJBPH by the State of Colorado’s Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management as a resource to communities for slowing the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. High quality, well-fitting masks are a critical precaution for limiting transmission during the current surge of the Omicron variant in our community. SJBPH’s local Public Health Advisory continues to strongly recommend face coverings for all individuals ages two and up in all public indoor settings, businesses, and workplaces.
COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people. Having a well-fitting mask is key for keeping you and others safe. For a mask to be most effective, it should fit snugly over the nose, mouth, and chin without gaps. It should fit in a way that prevents airflow around the mask (i.e. under eyes or at the side of the mask), and allow you to breathe easily with air directed into and through the mask. Best practices for how to wear a mask properly are available from the CDC.
“With the Omicron variant still spreading at high rates, we hope the community will stop by either of our offices to pick up their free masks while supplies last. SJBPH is also working with local organizations and partners to ensure masks get out to vulnerable groups and essential workers. Masks continue to be an important precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19, in addition to being vaccinated and boosted when eligible. By being vaccinated and masking up indoors we can limit spread and prevent the worst outcomes from COVID-19, which in turn keeps us safe and supports health care, essential services, businesses, and our local schools,” said Liane Jollon, Executive Director, SJBPH.
Both La Plata and Archuleta counties continue to report high levels of COVID-19 transmission that are impacting the operation of businesses, schools, and health care in the region. Yesterday, the seven-day case incidence rate in La Plata County was reported at 1,583 cases per 100,000 residents, and in Archuleta County the rate was 1,130 cases per 100,000 residents. Of the molecular tests collected and reported to SJBPH over the past seven days, 25% came back positive for COVID-19 in La Plata County and 32% were reported as positive in Archuleta County.
In addition to wearing a mask, receiving a booster dose of vaccine is shown to drastically increase protection from severe illness, and clinics with ample supply of all three vaccine types are widely available in both La Plata and Archuleta counties. All SJBPH and Jogan Health clinics can offer first, second, and booster doses for those who are eligible. The full schedule of vaccine clinics and providers is available online with convenient dates and times across both counties.
Community testing sites remain open and are free to the general public. More information about hours and how to make an appointment is available on the SJBPH website. For COVID-19 data, vaccine clinics, and information about quarantine and isolation guidance please visit the SJBPH website.